American Idol schedule…Finally! There’s going to be a Top 10 made up of 5 boys and 5 girls.  The judges will then pick wildcards to round out the cast of finalists.  The press release does not reveal how many WC will be added.

Uh…does this schedule look much different than past Idol seasons? The audition round, followed by Hollywood, then then the semi-final round and finals.  The semi-final round is shorter, with only one results show, and Hollywood takes a detour to Las Vegas.  But…not much different, really.  Well the addition of a wildcard round ensures that the producers have even more control…

Read on:

American Idol is set to return for its tenth season with new judges, new talent and new surprises along the way. This season’s judges – Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler – are a triple-threat of credibility, chemistry and talent. Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, whose career as a music producer and record executive is unparalleled, will serve as the in-house mentor. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the two-night season premiere kicks off with auditions from New York / New Jersey on Wednesday, Jan. 19 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and New Orleans on Thursday, Jan. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

After the two-night premiere, auditions will continue for three weeks on Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning at 8:00 PM ET/PT.

American Idol auditions continue in Hollywood on Wednesday, Feb. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Feb. 17 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) with the hopefuls who received tickets to Hollywood from the judges. The contestants who make it through Hollywood will then head to Las Vegas for the first time ever to perform Beatles songs on the Cirque du Soleil LOVE stage Wednesday, Feb. 23 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The auditions will conclude on Thursday, Feb. 24 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) when the judges reveal – in an exciting new twist – 20 semifinalists (10 guys and 10 girls).

The semifinalists compete on Tuesday, March 1 and Wednesday, March 2 (8:00-9:30 PM ET/PT). The five male and five female contestants with the most votes will be the first to join this season’s finalists. The judges’ will also make their special “Wild Card” picks rounding out the finalists on Thursday, March 3 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

Schedule after the JUMP…

Wednesday, Jan. 19  -  Season Premiere, Part 1 – New York / New Jersey Audition Episode

Thursday, Jan. 20  -  Season Premiere, Part 2 – New Orleans Audition Episode

Wednesday, Jan. 26 – Audition Episode

Thursday, Jan. 27  – Audition Episode

Wednesday, Feb. 2  – Audition Episode

Thursday, Feb. 3  – Audition Episode

Wednesday, Feb. 9  – Audition Episode

Thursday, Feb. 10  – Audition Episode

Wednesday, Feb. 16  – Hollywood Round, Part 1

Thursday, Feb. 17  – Hollywood Round, Part 2

Wednesday, Feb. 23  – Las Vegas Round

Thursday, Feb. 24  – Top 20 Semifinalists Announced

Tuesday, March 1  – Semifinalists Perform

Wednesday, March 2  – Semifinalists Perform

Thursday, March 3 First Results Show and Finalists Announced

 
  • Buffynut

    But how many finalists? 12? 13? Wahhhh! I want to know when the Finale is!!!!!

  • Incipit

    Good to see a calendar – Thanks! So March 3rd is the day to pay attention, when they finally announce the cast for this year. I’ll retro-view vids for anyone who actually gets chosen – but that’s a lot of drek to sit through, when TPTB are making all the decisions anyway – more overtly even than they are wont to do.

    IMO. Of Course.

  • Shorty

    Does having an in-house mentor mean that there will not be any guest mentors?

  • Miss Blue

    Sigh. Glad to hear we’re getting wildcard picks, but screw the gender balance idea. I want the BEST singers – I don’t care what gender they are.

  • koshka

    I’m sorry, but I really detest soooo many audition episodes. It won’t even get interesting for me until after valentines day.

  • girlygirl

    what happened to the idea of not worrying about gender balance?

  • girlygirl

    Also, isn’t that more weeks of audition episodes than usual? They really needed to cut that down to like 2 weeks

  • Incipit

    girlygirl, a lot of ideas were floated in the press and statements were made that have since been discarded, or adapted into "what we really meant was…" All that stuff could come with a disclaimer – "believe at your own risk". TPTB have always 'spoken with forked tongue'.

    IMO. Of Course.

  • tinawina

    I think the 1st round audition weeks sound about right. Hollywood week looks short… but since they are adding the Cirque de Soleil thing, it makes sense.

    The semis done in one week thing is really short.

  • cheese

    Are they really showing 9 hours of audition footage again? I wish (as usual) that they would spend more time on the Hollywood shows. I hope Steven Tyler is at least medicated or intoxicated or something for the majority of it.

    I think the Top 20 is a good idea, hopefully there will be fewer obvious fodder contestants than in previous years. Can’t wait to see which 24-27 year old semi-attractive sensitive white guy will take it all away from the judges’ 15 y.o. favorites.

  • koshka

    24-27 year old semi-attractive sensitive white guy

    Ok haven’t seen this description before. LOL

  • sma11ie

    24-27 year old semi-attractive sensitive white guy

    LOL. Wait, Lee is semi-attractive now? I kid, I kid. I like Lee just fine. Just don’t find him attractive at all. And I think Lee, Kris, and David were all 24-25 when they won? Heh. So we’re looking for a 23-25 year old sensitive white guy named Ty… got it!

    what happened to the idea of not worrying about gender balance?

    girlygirl, a lot of ideas were floated in the press and statements were made that have since been discarded, or adapted into “what we really meant was…” All that stuff could come with a disclaimer – “believe at your own risk”. TPTB have always ‘spoken with forked tongue’.

    The “no gendar parity” was a direct quote from Ken Warwick that EW printed just last week. But I’m SO GLAD it’s debunked, not only because I want more girls to make it to the finals, but because I’m hoping it’s evidence that Ken Warwick’s quotes mean nothing, and he has no power, cuz he also said in EW that he hated guitars and contestants won’t be allowed to use instruments more than once or twice this season. I REALLY hope that’s not true.

  • Valentin432

    Also, isn’t that more weeks of audition episodes than usual? They really needed to cut that down to like 2 weeks

    No, it’s the exact same number of audition episodes(eight) than season 9, 7, 6 and only one more than season 8 and 5 (but they had two 1 hours episodes, so it’s the same amount of hours).

    Frankly, to me the whole audition + HW schedule looks exactly the same as the previous seasons, with the difference being the 3rd HW show is the Vegas episode.

    What’s interesting is to reduce the semifinals to one week when there were three for the previous formats.
    Even if you add one more week for the WC, they will have to do a top 13 to end the show the last week of May.

  • rohocop

    I bet they will have a top 13, with each judge picking a wild card selection.

  • Nina1

    Just don’t find him attractive at all.

    Me too, but I doubt I’m his cuppa either.

    Yikes. That’s a lot of auditions. Not my favorite part; actually I have only watched them entirely once.

  • jumpstart

    But how many finalists? 12? 13?

    I vote for 10. The wildcard is not my cuppa.

  • JohnP

    The Vegas section after Hollywood smacks of the “Judges’ House” section after the “Bootcamp” section of X-Factor. Also if each judge picks a wildcard, then that also mimics X-Factor. However, as Idol will be the first to show this in America, most people will assume X-Factor US is copying Idol.

  • tinawina

    Also if each judge picks a wildcard, then that also mimics X-Factor.

    Idol did that in its early seasons. In fact, they briefly revived the practice in Season 8. It will just seem to the audience like its going back to the way they used to do it.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Does having an in-house mentor mean that there will not be any guest mentors?

    I hope so. I’ve never liked the mentor idea, when most of them couldn’t give a crap and were just there to promote themselves. They took time away from the contestants.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Idol did that in its early seasons. In fact, they briefly revived the practice in Season 8. It will just seem to the audience like its going back to the way they used to do it.

    In Season 2, each judge had one wild-card pick, then the voting public chose the 4th. I think that would be a good idea to bring back.

  • bjames

    Does this mean there are more weeks of the finals? Or is it starting a week late? I’m so confused as to what is happening to the two weeks that used to be filled with semifinals.

  • tinawina

    In Season 2, each judge had one wild-card pick, then the voting public chose the 4th. I think that would be a good idea to bring back.

    Yeah, I like the people choosing one of the wildcards, that works well when there are multiple sudden death rounds I think.

    This time, It does seem like it makes more sense for the judges to do it to me. It looks like the audience will already pick 5 out of 10 girls (or boys) each round.

  • Mary102

    IA – way too many audition eps – those were always the worst anyway. Sigh. And how is “top 20″ so exciting? Over-hype much? In the past they had a top 24, this is 4 fewer, big deal. IMO, the biggest change is the difference in semi-final rounds – just one week to get down to 10 finalists plus the wildcards (they’re leaving that number purposely ambiguous so that they can pull an Anoop Desai if necessary, lol.)

    S8 wildcards were kind of ridiculous (mostly just ensuring the quirky chosen ones make it through). It turned out America had it more right in their initial picks though. So I don’t think much of the wildcards except as a gimmick and control device.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I think that Steven Tyler will be very entertaining during the audition rounds, but personally, I’d rather see more of the Hollywood/Vegas competition rounds than bad auditions.

  • Mark

    And how is “top 20? so exciting? Over-hype much?

    And you somehow thought this show was capable of something different?

    (Said with love, of course)

  • gangreen29

    Also, isn’t that more weeks of audition episodes than usual? They really needed to cut that down to like 2 weeks

    No

  • gangreen29

    I think that Steven Tyler will be very entertaining during the audition rounds, but personally, I’d rather see more of the Hollywood/Vegas competition rounds than bad auditions.

    Me too, but it will never happen. Audition episodes have way higher ratings than Hollywood rounds.

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    yessssss wildcard!!!!!

  • sma11ie

    Audition episodes have way higher ratings than Hollywood rounds.

    It really is too bad. Casual fans eat up the audition epi’s but invested Idol-tards like me would rather see more of Hollywood week.

  • GreenHippo

    I don’t remember much of audition episodes ever. Last year, the only thing that still sticks in my mind: ‘Pants on the ground’.
    The year before that (S8), I only remember Adam Lambert’s audition and Bikini Girl… the rest out of my mind. BUT they are popular especially the train wrecks, which I can’t stand. I so dislike it when they are making fun of ppl, regardless of what it is, their voice, their looks etc. ….UGH

  • GreenHippo

    And YAY for wildcards, Clay Aiken was a “Wild Card”. :)

  • larc

    GreenHippo:
    I don’t remember much of audition episodes ever. Last year, the only thing that still sticks in my mind: ‘Pants on the ground’.
    The year before that (S8), I only remember Adam Lambert’s audition and Bikini Girl… the rest out of my mind.

    You’ve forgotten Tatiana so soon? ;)

  • fuzzywuzzy

    And YAY for wildcards, Clay Aiken was a “Wild Card”.

    Clay was the “public’s wildcard”. That same year Trenyce (Pauler), Kim Caldwell (Randy) and Carmen Rasmussen (Simon) were the judges’ wildcards.

  • Mark

    Clay was the “public’s wildcard”. That same year Trenyce (Pauler), Kim Caldwell (Randy) and Carmen Rasmussen (Simon) were the judges’ wildcards.

    Maybe the one year they did pretty well with the wildcards overall. (By well, I mean 2/3 OK at least, vs. 1/3 or just flat out botching the majority of the choices in the first place)

  • GreenHippo

    You’ve forgotten Tatiana so soon?

    yes, I had! But thanks for reminding me :)

  • CindyM

    Season 8′s wildcards were Anoop, Megan, Matt G and Jasmine. Matt G. made it all the way to 5th place, Anoop went out 8th, Megan 9th and Jasmine went out the first week. I’m glad that Matt G. and Anoop made it through with the wildcard.

  • platoken

    Season 8’s wildcards were Anoop, Megan, Matt G and Jasmine. Matt G. made it all the way to 5th place, Anoop went out 8th, Megan 9th and Jasmine went out the first week. I’m glad that Matt G. and Anoop made it through with the wildcard.

    Mishavonna should have went through :/

  • anibundel

    All this is is more of the “fix last season” course correction that we’ve seen them do every year since season six. The schedule is exactly the same–the difference is that they have now put in a fire wall to prevent a favored contestant bloodbath like they had to eat on the Top 16 result show last year.
    But really, I’m pretty thankful the changes, after all the hype, amount to not-all-that-much. After all, as everyone here has been saying since June–it wasn’t the format that was the problem. It was the casting and the focus on the judges rather than the contestants.

  • musicfan260

    @ CindyM
    You are wrong Anoop came in 7th not 8th

  • jammasta

    It really is too bad. Casual fans eat up the audition epi’s but invested Idol-tards like me would rather see more of Hollywood week.

    I’m probably the only Idol-tard who prefers auditions over Hollywood week. The amount of drama in the group rounds gets on my nerves so amazingly quickly. Seeing Mary Powers and Tatiana del Toro start up drama did not make me want to watch the show, they made me want to destroy things. Of course, if Hollywood didn’t have that damned annoying group round drama (that unfortunately everyone else eats up), we’d be golden. That’s part of what I liked about Season 7. The only things I remember about Group Round that don’t totally enrage me are Kris Allen/Matt Giraud’s group performance and the (fact?) that Aaron Kelly, Lee DeWyze, and Crystal Bowersox were in the same group (unless I remember that so wrong).

    The show has more than enough stupid drama in the media.

    Didn’t Anoop go out 6th? Technically, he and Lil were eliminated the same night, but he had more votes IIRC. Maybe I just think the tie is weird :P.

  • http://twitter.com/joeytad2010 JT

    They changed the format and I don’t like it.  Less Hollywood week because they added the Vegas week.  Then they cut the semi-final round to one week instead and they will only cut one contestant at a time instead of 2 in the first week for the top 13.  They should shorten the audition rounds instead, have more Hollywood and Vegas weeks and continue the semi-final round with two contestants from each gender voted in by America every week until we complete the top 12. 

    And then an extra week for the wildcard round for the 12 remaining contestants to sing the 1st night and on the 2nd night America selects the most popular wildcard to complete the top 13 finalists.  Then eliminate two for the 1st week. They need to change the format up to make it more exciting not change it down to make it less interesting.